Iowa Writes

RAFAEL COURTOISIE
Insecticide (Chapter VII of Caras extrañas)


“According to Charles Darwin, a wise Englishman, ants are communists,” a scientific advisor confidentially informed General Pesano, Commander in Chief of the Army.

“Destroy the anthills,” ordered the general.

Goodbye ants.

*

They killed all the ants; not an ant could be found in the entire country.

“If I see an ant, I’ll have you shot, understand me, Fagúndez?”

Fagúndez, Minister of the Interior, snapped to attention: “Understood, General: not one ant.”

“According to Charles Darwin, a wise Englishman, ants are communists,” a scientific advisor confidentially informed General Pesano, Commander in Chief of the Army.

“Destroy the anthills,” ordered the general.

Goodbye ants.

*

They killed all the ants; not an ant could be found in the entire country.

“If I see an ant, I’ll have you shot, understand me, Fagúndez?”

Fagúndez, Minister of the Interior, snapped to attention: “Understood, General: not one ant.”

*

They made students write:
Traitor ants
Death to the ants
Be patriotic: kill an ant.
The only good ant is a dead ant.

*

They imported four thousand ant-eating bears from all parts of the world, of various species. An army brigade adopted the ant-eating bear as the insignia for its shield and the protective patron of its squadrons.

ANTS ARE THE ENEMIES OF PUBLIC WELFARE...said the billboards.

For their part, the insurgents created the “Ant” column, “our principal pride.”

*

Support commandos painted enormous ants of tar on the city walls of Salvo and also in the capital, Montenegro.

“Victory ant” was a slogan and an emblem of war.

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


RAFAEL COURTOISIE

Poet, fiction writer, essayist, and screenwriter, Rafael Courtoisie is one of Uruguay’s leading writers. He is participating in the 2006 International Writing Program this fall.

International Writing Program

This page was first displayed
on October 21, 2006

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